La Salle lands NCAA MVP Troy Mallillin, but Ayo has a warning for incoming prospects
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo plans to field the incoming rookies, like NCAA juniors MVP Troy Mallillin, in the Filoil preseason tournament. Freddie Dionisio

LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo sees the recruitment of NCAA juniors MVP Troy Mallillin as a great pick-up for the Green Archers, although he made it clear all incoming rookies will have to fight for their slots in the team.

Ayo recently posted on social media that Mallillin, a member of the La Salle Greenhills high school squad, has been officially recruited by the Green Archers after gaining a commitment from the 6-foot-3 swingman.

The announcement came days after Chiang Kai Shek College big man Jonas Tibayan also committed to join the Green Archers, according to Ayo.

The La Salle mentor, however, made it clear no one among the incoming rookies is assured of a spot in the team, regardless of their credentials in high school.

“Wala namang shoo-in sa amin. He has to prove his worth and fight for his spot, the way our players are doing right now,” said Ayo.

[See High school star Jonas Tibayan commits to La Salle]

Ayo, however, sees a lot of upside in Mallillin, who plays the big positions in high school but has the ability to play the guard spots in college.

In his final year with the Greenies, Mallillin averaged 19.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in the elimination round, becoming the first La Salle Greenhills player since Prince Rivero in 2013 to be named MVP.

“He is big for a guard and he is athletic. Siya ang NCAA MVP and he is going to give us another dimension,” said Ayo.

Ayo said he plans to field the incoming rookies in the Filoil preseason tournament, even though La Salle is already scheduled to see action in a meet in Davao City.

“’Yung coming from high school, hindi pa maglalaro kasi may pasok pa. Siguro sa Filoil na lang,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports